(AUSTIN) – The Board of Regents of the Texas State University System has authorized Sul Ross State University Rio Grande College (RGC) to offer classes in Medina County through a joint partnership with Southwest Texas Junior College (SWTJC) and the Medina Valley Independent School District. The board approved RGC’s involvement in the partnership during a special called meeting today.
RGC currently serves Medina County students at the college’s Uvalde campus, about 60 miles west of Castroville. But for many students, the hour-long drive can be an impediment to their educational success.
"This partnership in the Castro/Medina Valley area is a great opportunity to better meet the educational needs and aspirations of residents who can’t easily reach the Uvalde campus,” said associate provost Paul Sorrels. “Our close working partnership with Southwest Texas Junior College will certainly benefit Medina County residents. As a ‘community university’ Sul Ross Rio Grande College looks forward to many years of service and contribution to the community and the larger region."
Medina Valley ISD is building a 12,000 square foot Higher Education Center in Castroville where the district will offer dual-credit courses that can be applied toward a college degree. Additionally, the school district has asked SWTJC and RGC to offer college-level courses at the Center, allowing students to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree without ever leaving the community.
RGC faculty would teach courses through a combination of face-to-face and teleconference classes, similar to how courses are taught at RGC’s existing campuses in Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde. Additionally, RGC and SWTJC have developed fully-articulated degree plans which allow students to earn an associate degree at the junior college then transfer those courses to RGC where they are applied toward a bachelor’s degree. Using this model at its existing campuses, RGC and SWTJC deliver the lowest-cost bachelor’s degree in Texas.
Margot Mata, vice president of student services at SWJTC, added, "SWTJC is committed to working hand-in-hand with RGC to build stronger relationships within our surrounding communities and also within the larger region in order promote student success."
Courses at the new Higher Education Center in Castroville will begin in spring 2015 upon completion of the new facility.